Friday, January 25, 2008

The Memory of Water-Karen White

The Memory of Water
Karen White
NAL, Mar 2008, $14.00
ISBN 9780451223036

After being away from her hometown for almost a decade, Arizona school teacher Marnie Maitland returns home to McLellanville, South Carolina. She only came back to the Low Country because her former brother-in-law Quinn begged her to help her nine-year-old nephew Gil whom she has never met.

As Marnie and Gil connect and to a lesser degree she with Quinn, her sister Diana resents her intruding in the life of her son and for that matter hers. Marnie realizes her sibling is angry with her and assumes the reason is the boating accident when they were kids that killed their mother while they survived. Whereas Marnie recalls little of that fatal day, Diana has tied the accident to the “Maitland Curse” that has haunted the family for decades.

THE MEMORY OF WATER is a strong family drama due to the four prime players feeling real especially their flawed interrelationships. The story line smoothly changes viewpoint between the quartet so the audience sees different looks at the same event or issue; especially how the sisters interpret their mother’s death. With a final plausible yet surprising twist, readers will be LEARNING TO BREATHE while waiting for her next tale.

Harriet Klausner

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